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Capt Philip Malone, the US Navy’s programme manager for CVN 79, CVN 80 and CVN 81 (PMS 379), highlighted for delegates to this week’s Surface Navy Association (SNA) symposium several important milestones in his evolving portfolio.

In one instance, USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CVN 79) will receive modifications to operate the service’s F-35C LIGHTNING II strike fighter after its post-shakedown availability, although Capt Malone was unable to discuss specific dates for this operational mission. The enhancements involve changes in the squadron ready room and the flight deck’s jet-blast deflectors, among others. He said his office is evaluating the impact of the installations on the upcoming schedule for the carrier, which was christened on 7 December last year.

Further, he emphasized a major difference between USS GERALD R FORD (CVN 78) and CVN 79 is that the dual-band radar on the former will be replaced on CVN 79 by the Raytheon SPY-6(V)3 ENTERPRISE AIR SEARCH RADAR.

Marty Kauchak in Virginia for MON

The USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CVN 79) will receive modifications to enable it to operate the service’s F-35C strike fighter after its post-shakedown availability. (Photo: USN)

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